lessons from construction


I don’t talk about work much to too many people. I’m not sure anyone in my life truly knows what I do for a living except maybe my mom. It’s no secret that I work in construction, I just don’t write about it much. I really don’t think work is something you need to share with the world unless you can be totally anonymous about it, can make it hilarious, or unless you really love your job and can refrain from naming names, locations, etc. I happen to really love my job, employer, and the people I work with.

That being said, I’ve worked in construction for the last 8 years (3 with my dad, 5 with my current employer) and have learned quite a few things (I’m sure this will be edited as I go):

1.) No one knows how to shut a fucking door. They will either slam it, push it back and hope it latches, or just leave it wide open. The worse the weather, the more likely this is to occur.

2.) Copiers and fax machines will baffle even the most intelligent engineer, manager, or superintendent.

3.) The day after you wash your car, you will come to work and find a mud pit, “dust control” in action with sweepers running the compound, or fresh excavation that morning.

4.) Cleavage is a powerful tool and so is a smile, but cleavage coupled with a smile is a lethal combination that will benefit you greatly if used properly. Don’t abuse it.

5.) Men do in fact go through PMS. I haven’t yet figured out if it’s in sync with their wives/girlfriends or if it’s a cycle all of their own, but they do go through PMS and it’s interesting to say the least.

6.) Despite sitting right by the door and having windows all around, everyone will inform you of the weather currently going on as though you’re too stupid to discern this information for yourself. For example: “It’s really raining out there!” Are you sure? I didn’t notice all the muddy footprints, the sound of the rain slamming the metal roof, or the water leaking in my window.

7.) Much like washing your vehicle brings on dust control, the day you wear white clothing and/or flat sandals with your feet fully exposed is the day you will get torrential downpour out of the blue and end up with mud all over you. It’s the Murphy’s law of construction and fashion.

8.) Delivery drivers have no concept of how to utilize a map, the internet, GPS, or any other way of obtaining directions. It’s not as though their job is to DELIVER things and would necessitate figuring out where the fuck they’re going. No no, they rely on YOU to direct them from Bumfuck, Egypt to your jobsite.

9.) You can answer the phone “Good morning/afternoon ________ CONSTRUCTION” and people will still ask to order a pizza, look for a lost debt, or think you’re an elementary school. Fail.

10.) Just because someone doesn’t speak English doesn’t mean they don’t understand it perfectly. As a result, always treat the laborers with respect.

11.) You may think Latinos outnumber all others and run the construction game, but you’re wrong. Rednecks are tied for first place. You’d also be surprised to know just how high the gay population is.

12.) Men are just as (if not more than) obsessed as women when it comes to weight, dieting and exercise. It’s downright terrifying because it’s not even a macho “well I can bench press 450!” it’s more like “make sure you order diet coke, not regular” and “I’ve started eating salads more to cut carbs” and it’s scary.

13.) Always lock the bathroom door!

14.) A $1 box of brownie mix can be magically transformed into a cure-all mood elevator when brought in to work “just because”. (Down side of this: they will think that you can bake and will ask you to make baked goods ALL THE TIME)

15.) An empty box of Tampax is the most effective theft deterrent on the market.


3 responses »

  1. As a woman who has worked in construction for over 15 years I will say AMEN!!!

    Let me just tell you if you knew how spot on you were about the dieting thing and the men I work with you would die! They are obsessed and me being pregnant and eating whatever I want makes them go batty!

  2. I work in a different kind of construction (highway) but my workers are still the same! people that work for government jobs (state workers) all have a little bit of crazy in us. you can’t be just right & work for the state. it’s against murphy’s law!

    my boss can only have things that are gluten free, so i’ll make him gluten free brownies from time to time. he’ll shut his door for most of the day & eat the entire batch!



  3. You hit that DEAD on!! I couldn’t have written it better myself. Especially since I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. LOL

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